Slade News


MARCH 2020:

Sunday 1st March 2020
Official Statement:

Unfortunately Don had a stroke on Saturday (29th February) morning. Luckily his step-daughter Emilie, who is a doctor, was at his house in Denmark when it happened and knew what to do straight away and called an ambulance.

Don's wife Hanne has sent an update to his website saying: "On Sunday afternoon I picked Don up from the hospital. He will be monitored from home until Wednesday afternoon as it is less stressful for him to be at home, and that is important at the moment. The MRI and CT scan results shows two blood clots in the left frontal lobe, and he is now on medication. There is a narrowing on his artery on his neck so we will know in a few days if he will need an operation. The scan results are sent to the cardiology surgeons to decide. Don is tired but in good spirits and he is happy that he can use/feel his right arm and leg again. So we are all very relieved and thankful."

We're sure every one of Don's fans will appreciate the photo of him smiling despite having such a health upset.


2nd March 2020:
A message from Jim Lea to Don Powell, posted on his website

"Hi Don - It was terrible to hear of your stroke. A real body blow!! Although the band finished many moons ago, we were like brothers during that 25 years together. You were and still are the quickest wit in the band. You kept us laughing through the ups and downs of those years. I'm sure that everyone who's met you thinks the same. Keep smiling Don and get through this. Get well soon. Jim.

4th March 2020:
Latest news: ​UPDATE FROM DON

"Hi Webmaster! Letting you know that I had all of my 'stickers' off today and the reading monitor is being sent off for analysis. More hospital treatment later this week BUT in all things are looking really great. Let everyone know I'm overwhelmed at all the 'get well soon' messages. I will be answering all the 'get well' emails I promise!

Many thanks, Don XXXXXX'

7th March 2020:
Courtesy of John Coghlan.

"It is strange though when at first you don’t or won’t put two and two together as to what is wrong….
I sort of had an idea (frightening as it was), when I lost the use of my left arm and leg. It reminded me of my drinking days… shouldn’t joke. I couldn’t even hold the TV remote.

I give thanks and have nothing but praise for the brilliant medical team here, who are looking after me so well, step by step, just trying to help me do the simplest of tasks that we all take for granted. I have a long way to go, and I have been warned in the strongest terms not to play drums, drive or fly until 1st June…… How perfect is that.????......"I am SO looking forward to seeing everyone…. with love to you all."

7th March 2020:
Photo courtesy of Andy Scott.

"Dr. Scott visited Don Powell earlier today to see how he was doing. As you all can see, Don looked really good."

Andy Scott with Don Powell

7th March 2020:
Jim had a great week appearing on Ken Bruce's 'Tracks Of My Years' feature on his Radio Two show.
Jim's musical choices were as follows:
2nd March: Wonderful Land - The Shadows / Twist and Shout - The Beatles
3rd March: My Generation - The Who / Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
4th March: You Really Got Me - The Kinks / Say You Don't Mind - Colin Blunstone
5th March: Man Of The World - Fleetwood Mac / Voodoo Chile - Jimi Hendrix
6th March: Reach Out I'll Be There - The Four Tops / The Man With The Child In His Eyes - Kate Bush

8th March 2020:
Email from Don this morning:

"Feeling great mate.
Got a great medical team behind me….
Lots of exercises, which I’m enjoying……
Cheers Ian."


Monday 3rd February 2020
Don Powell announcement about Slade

"It is with great sadness and regret that Don needs to inform his fans that he now is no longer a member of Dave Hill's Slade. Dave has sent Don a cold email to inform him that his services are no longer required, after working together and being friends since 1963.

However, the great news is that Don is now fully fit to play drums again! He is coming back with his band who will be called Don Powell's Slade. He is forming it with ex-Slade 2 bass guitar member Craig Fenney. We will post more news about the recruited members in due course. Don so looks forward to going on the road and seeing all the fans again.

More news! Don is currently recording a solo album. He is in North West England at the moment - recording tracks with Paul Cookson and Les Glover. All these tracks will be issued in Don's debut solo album!

Additionally, as previously mentioned on this site, Don has finished and completed a new album with Don Powell's Occasional Flames which will be released this year. Don hopes that all his loyal fans will support his new ventures which he is very excited about."

This was followed the next day by a short and contradicting response from Dave Hill:

Feb 4, 2020:
"I am sad to announce that Don and I will no longer be working together. Our parting of the ways has not come out of the blue and his announcement is not accurate. I wish Don every success in his future efforts. I will, of course, carry on and look forward to many future performances and meeting fans."
Dave Hill

Following this news, social media and the press have exploded and many people have taken sides. This is a group that we have loved and whose members we have respected over the years. The full story is not out there yet and we can only say that taking sides in this matter doesn't help anybody and is premature.

Feb 4, 2020:
Nod's measured response from The Birmingham Evening Mail (his comments edited - full article here:

Noddy told BirminghamLive he was 'surprised' by the split after watching the pair working together for 56 years.

"I am surprised and would never have seen this coming. We don't see each other very often, but get together every now and then to sort through a few things. If they have fallen out, it's nothing to do with me, but it's what rock and roll bands do, even after all this time - I never get involved with politics. Something must have happened, but who knows what and I don't know how it could have happened, quite frankly. I know that Don has had leg trouble and been off the road for a while."

Feb 8th 2020:
Express & Star article

'Dave can’t use the name Slade anymore':
Former drummer Don Powell on being fired by his bandmate and the next chapter

Slade drummer Don Powell today spoke of his shock at being kicked out of the band he has played in and loved for more than 50 years. Powell received an email from guitarist Dave Hill saying his services were no longer required.

It has been suggested that Powell’s recent health struggles after damaging tendons in his legs were behind the move. But he has dismissed that suggestion and says he is back to his best.

He said: “I wasn’t expecting it, that’s for sure. All I know is I got the email saying Dave didn’t want to work with me any more. What can I say? He’s somebody I’ve been working with since 1963 – before we formed Slade – and I got an email like that. It was the end of last week, I think, or the start of this week. You can imagine, I was quite taken aback when I got it. I haven’t spoken to him, obviously, but whatever, we’ll see. Someone you’ve been playing in a band with 1963…. what can you say?"

“There’s no problem with my legs. I’ve been playing a few songs. And there’s no problem, believe me.”

Powell revealed he is going ahead with his plans to form his own band, Don Powell’s Slade, and he said he would challenge Dave Hill unless he agreed to change the name of his band to Dave Hill’s Slade.

"I’m forming the band. I’m sitting with the bass player and we’re sorting a few things out and getting a format together," he said.

"People love the shows, it’s still there. The fans are still there so I’ve got no intentions of jacking it in. I’m still having a ball. This is a new phase of having my life. I know all the guys and we’ll get a band together. Dave can’t use the name Slade anymore – he’ll have to use the name Dave Hill’s Slade.”

The association between Powell and Hill goes back to the 1960s, when they played in The ‘N Betweens. They enjoyed the highs and lows, with Slade becoming the most successful British band since The Beatles, selling millions of records and enjoying huge success around the world. They sold a reported 50 million records and achieved 17 consecutive top 20 hits and six number ones on the UK Singles Chart.

Original frontman Noddy Holder and guitarist/songwriter Jim Lea left after 25 years when the band’s popularity started to decline. The original quartet last performed together in 1991 when they played a version of Johnny B Goode at Walsall Town Hall.

Don Powell and Dave Hill kept the flame alive by forming Slade II in 1992 with other musicians. The line-up has changed on a number of occasions since then, though Powell and Hill were ever-presents.

Powell said he was always supportive of other members and is surprised he has now had to leave.

He said: “When you think we formed in 1966 and we had a fantastic career really and Noddy later went off and found other outlets and other things, like the acting parts like the DJ thing, it’s been great. Nod had a regular thing on Manchester radio because he wanted to further his career and he ended up doing a lot of voice overs. You can hear him on certain programmes – his voice is unmistakeable.”

Powell added it was no secret there had been ups and downs between band members over the years, while also revealing that the four members had never bought each other a drink. He said: “Having different characters in a band is what makes a band. Ninety nine per cent of bands have different personalities and that’s what makes the bands."

"The thing with the four of us was that we knew each other so well. There was one weird thing about us which was that we never bought each other a drink. In all our years together, we never once did that. There was an unwritten law and we’d buy our own drinks. We would be out together but we still wouldn’t buy each other a drink. We just didn’t do that. There was nothing untoward, it’s just the way it was.”

Many close to the band have described Powell as being the most easy-going member of Slade. And Powell says that characterisation is probably correct, adding: “That’s fair enough. It’s been good not really being recognised, because I’ve been the drummer, I’ve had less attention that the other guys. I’d say that’s been to my advantage. I’ve been able to go out anywhere and have a quiet night without people coming over. I did get some people coming over telling me I looked like the drummer out of Slade. Whenever people said that, I’d just reply ‘A lot of people say that’. I did have a girl once who told me I looked like the drummer and I told her I was. So she told me I was rubbish and I never did it again. It’s funny, looking back.”

Powell added that he was in good health and raring to go. He said: “We’ve been playing and we’ve been rehearsing. There had been nothing untoward with Dave over the past year. I had the problem with the tendons of my leg and I was warned I’d be in a wheelchair if I played and that’s it, so I kept off the drums until it all healed."

“But then all of a sudden I got the email. Well, you know, what can you say? I just thought after all these years you could have spoken to me face to face.”

Powell added that he was looking forward to the next chapter of Slade. “There’ll possibly be Christmas shows, we’ll see how it goes. It’s all coming together pretty quickly if I’m being honest and I’ll keep people in the loop.”

Dave Hill’s agent has been approached for a comment. The musician did comment on the Slade website, saying: “Our parting of the ways has not come out of the blue”. He described Powell’s version of events as “not accurate”.

On February 8th, Suzan Holder humourously tweeted:
Breaking news - 'Noddy Holder's Slade' currently in rehearsal.
The sound from the back bedroom is incredible as they re-work The Okey Cokey.


Friday 28th February 2020 - Jim's long awaited appearance on Ken Bruce's 'Tracks Of My Years' feature will finally get aired next week. From Monday 2nd March to Friday 6th March Jim will choose, discuss and play two songs per day that have shaped his life. Ken Bruce's show is broadcast between 9.30am and midday each week day on Radio Two. 

An announcement will be made about the project Jim has been working on for the last few years, that has been very close to his heart...

​However, as website readers, we will exclusively tell you now... Jim has been making a biography DVD that will be released this year, hopefully before Summer. The working title is currently: 'The Story Of Jim Lea and Slade'. Fans have constantly asked Jim to write a biography - but he has decided to do better than that. He tells the story of him and Slade on a DVD.

Jim asked friends to be recorded to help him tell the story - and these friends included Paul Weller, Francis Rossi, Roy Wood, Karl Wallinger of World Party, Mick Fleetwood and Don Powell - to name a few. Jim was particularly grateful to Don who flew over to the UK from Denmark to help with the project.

Dave Meehan is Director of the DVD with Frank Lea as Executive Producer.

​More details to follow over the next few months.


Any info - please email

Jim Lea's guitar stolen
Click image to see full size

Am I the greatest now re-released as a single, with a brand new mix.

Jim Lea track download
Click image for link to buy the track.

Jim wants to announce that he and his wife Lou are absolutely delighted that they have become grandparents for the fourth time. Their son Kristian's partner Zoe has given birth to a baby boy at 5am on New Year's morning. The baby is fine and healthy - and Kristian and Zoe will decide a name for him soon. Great news for the Lea family to start 2020.

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